We're not so dogmatic here - you get to define for yourself what processed v. whole means. For me, if I can make it myself from something that was once alive, it's a whole food. I DON'T boil my own maple syrup, but I could, so I consider it a whole food. I can't make my own granulated sugar, so I don't consider it a whole food.
I do make my own mayonnaise, 'cause I eat it in such small quantities that it's a waste to buy a bottle, but by MY whole food rules, it would be okay to buy prepared mayonnaise if the ingredient list were egg yolk, olive oil, mustard, salt. If the ingredients include emulsifiers and preservatives, then it's off my list. As for yogurt, it's surprisingly easy to learn to make yourself (although I like the tartness/ consistency balance better if I add dry milk and that's processed food by my definition). But maybe you'll have more success if you start small. Like, maybe you want to replace Oreos with homebaked cookies (that include granulated sugar) for now, or just hold yourself to not buying any packaged foods that include chemical ingredients.
As someone who is completely new to the concept of clean eating, and who would like to begin by merely avoiding processed foods without taking into account nutritional value (that will come later once I have a better grasp on things), how do I define processed foods? Specifically, are mayonnaise and jelly/preserves considered processed foods? Do I need to make my own mayonnaise out of eggs and oil and my own preserves out of fruit and sugar? What about yogurt? It's processed, but I don't know how to make it myself. Where do I draw the line between processed and unprocessed foods?
Any answers will be appreciated. Thanks in advance. I may ask about more specific foods as I think of them.
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